A comprehensive record of the state of the world's vanishing coral reefs is to go online in a bid to protect them, reports the Press Association.
The Catlin Seaview Survey (CSS) has teamed up scientists around the world to create what they say will be "step-change" in the battle to protect disappearing coral reefs.
Across the world, 50 per cent of coral reefs have been destroyed in the past 30 years and the fight is on to save them, researchers said.
Each year between 1 per cent and 2 per cent of world coral reefs are destroyed, largely by shoreline pollution and climate change.
The CSS said scientists have long needed a comprehensive record of the state of the world's reefs.
Up to now it was not possible to do that on a massive scale, the researchers said.
But today the free-to-access Catlin Global Reef Record will go live.
It involves a range of images captured from the CSS's huge survey operation. It can be viewed by anyone who wants to access it (www.globalreefrecord.org) - and information about all the species found in these images will be added using state-of-the-art software which scans the pictures to identify what is shown.